erik lundegaard

Why Do IMDb Users Dislike 'Bull Durham'?

I posted my rankings for the best (and worst) baseball movies the other day, and shortly you'll have a chance to do so yourself, but in the meantime I thought I'd list how baseball movies fare on IMDb.com.

I know i've done this kind of thing before, mostly with best-picture winners, but what caught my eye this time was the IMDb rating for Ron Shelton's “Bull Durham”—regarded by baseball fans as the best baseball movie ever made.

On IMDb it's got a 7.0 rating. Which isn't great. Here's how it ranks among baseball movies:

Title IMDb Rating IMDb Rank My Rank Difference
Ken Burns’ Baseball (1994) 8.6 1 2 -1
42 (2013) 7.8 2 15 -13
Catching Hell (2011) 7.8 3 8 -5
61* (2001) 7.7 4 3 1
The Pride of the Yankees (1942) 7.7 4 23 -19
Moneyball (2011) 7.6 6 4 2
The Sandlot (1993) 7.6 6 30 -24
Field of Dreams (1989) 7.5 8 14 -6
Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (2010) 7.4 9 18 -9
Long Gone (1987) 7.4 9 n/a  
The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998) 7.4 9 5 4
The Natural (1984) 7.4 9 7 2
Eight Men Out (1988) 7.2 13 9 4
Sugar (2008) 7.1 14 10 4
The Bad News Bears (1976) 7.1 14 6 8
A League of Their Own (1992) 7.0 16 13 3
Bull Durham (1988) 7.0 16 1 15
Damn Yankees! (1958) 7.0 16 21 -5
Major League (1989) 7.0 16 11 5
The Stratton Story (1948) 7.0 16 24 -8
Angels in the Outfield (1951) 6.9 21 26 -5
Fear Strikes Out (1957) 6.9 21 33 -12
It Happens Every Spring (1949) 6.9 21 n/a  
Pastime (1990) 6.9 21 16 5
The Rookie (2002) 6.9 21 12 9
Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) 6.8 26 17 9
Take Me Out to the Ballgame (1949) 6.7 27 27 0
Trouble with the Curve (2012) 6.7 27 40 -13
The Perfect Game (2009) 6.6 29 n/a  
Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) 6.5 30 22 8
The Pride of St. Louis (1952) 6.5 30 n/a  
American Pastime (2007) 6.4 32 n/a  
BASEketball (1998) 6.4 32 42 -10
The Final Season (2007) 6.4 32 n/a  
Cobb (1994) 6.3 35 37 -2
For Love of the Game (1999) 6.3 35 19 16
The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) 6.3 35 38 -3
Fever Pitch (2005) 6.1 38 20 18
Hard Ball (2001) 6.1 38 45 -7
The House of Steinbrenner (2010) 6.1 38 28 10
It Happened in Flatbush (1942) 6.0 41 n/a  
Bad News Bears (2005) 5.8 42 n/a  
Game 6 (2005) 5.8 42 25 17
Little Big League (1994) 5.8 42 31 11
Angels in the Outfield (1994) 5.7 45 36 9
Talent for the Game (1991) 5.7 45 n/a  
The Babe (1992) 5.7 45 39 6
Calvin Marshall (2010) 5.6 48 n/a  
Mr. Baseball (1992) 5.6 48 29 19
Rookie of the Year (1993) 5.6 48 34 14
Mr. 3000 (2004) 5.5 51 35 16
The Babe Ruth Story (1948) 5.5 51 44 7
Major League II (1994) 5.2 53 32 21
The Scout (1994) 5.2 53 41 12
The Bad News Bears Go to Japan (1978) 5.1 55 47 8
Safe at Home! (1962) 5.0 56 n/a  
Major League III: Back to the Minors (1998) 4.2 57 43 14
The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977) 3.1 58 46 12

To be fair, most of the movies above it are good (“61*”) or considered to be good (“Pride of the Yankees”).

Even so: Tied for 16th? With “The Stratton Story”? Six points behind “The Sandlot”?

I get most of the early discrepancies between myself and the general IMDb user. “42” is still riding its newness; “Pride of the Yankees” was long-considered the best baseball movie ever made and still has its fans, who apparently vote; and “The Sandlot” gets a big push from the youngsters, who most assuredly vote. The younger you are, the more you like “The Sandlot.”

But whither “Bull Durham”? Thoughts?

Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon in the bathrub in "Bull Durham" (1988)

Talkin' baseball/ Wrigley and Camden
Talkin' baseball/ Costner and Sarandon

Tags: , , , ,

Posted at 06:48 AM on Mon. Apr 22, 2013 in category Baseball  

COMMENTS

Will wrote:

I'd say “the Costner factor” (which isn't fair, even post-“The Postman”), but “Field of Dreams” sits pretty at No. 8. Maybe it's the R rating. Baseball has such as squeaky-clean rep—pre-steroids, anyway—people want their baseball movies more “wholesome.”

Comment posted on Mon. Apr 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Lefty wrote:

at the risk of being controversial, I'm in the camp that doesn't think of “Bull Durham” as a baseball movie, possibly for very shallow reasons. At the top: Tim Robbins' awful windup, followed by bad memories of that season — playing in the beer leagues after washing out in college, faced with a league full of 25-30 year-olds suddenly calling each other “meat,” and finally, never knowing a catcher who would/could spout off a liberal arts major's dream monologue rather than make a cutting remark/hit someone.

Comment posted on Tue. Apr 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Nathaniel R wrote:

Bull Durham is so obviously the greatest baseball movie ever. But I don't like baseball very much so maybe that's the problem. Fans of sports movies might be most likely to see it but would they love it? it's rather untraditional as these things go.

Comment posted on Wed. Apr 24, 2013 at 08:14 AM

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